Monday, May 11, 2015

Igarashi Returns With the Spiritual Successor to the Metroidvania That Inspired it All

If you're a Castlevania fan, you know of Koji Igarashi. Listed in the Special Thanks section of the credits of Castlevania: Ronbo of Blood, he was the man behind Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and can be called the father of the metroidvania genre, combining the non-linear map style from the Metroid series with RPG elements plus the storylines from Castlevania. All the way up to 2010's Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, which combined characters and gameplay from Rondo of Blood onward, Igarashi, or simply Iga to the Castlevania fanbase, has been an integral part of the series.

For years, fans of Iga and the Castlevania series have been pining for the series to return to how it was in Symphony of the Night. Numerous games have come and gone that were inspired by this new subgenre Iga invented, but none have seemed to capture the magic that SotN had. Until now.

Launched on Kickstarter today to very positive acclaim, Iga is working on a new IP: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. With a goal of $500,000 and a planned release for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Bloodstained promises to be the definite successor to Symphony of the Night, and is definitely Iga's dream project.

From the Kickstarter page. Look at the pretty!
The reward tiers include the $5 tier of Iga's gratitude, to the $10,000 tier, which includes dinner with Iga, along with joining him in a live stream to play a bunch of games. Said tier includes a fashionable silver ring designed by Iga, an 8-inch design of stained glass, and several other goodies. Of course, the tiers in the middle offer things such as the OST, physical boxes and discs, and designing things for use in the game.

For a Castlevania fan, and metroidvania fans, this is the dream game. Already, in the time it has taken for me to type this up, the core funding goal has been reached. All that remains is the stretch goals, which include another playable character, voice acting from David Hayter, and other things, as well as achievements that will give backers exclusive things such as wallpaper and other bonuses. The physical copies of the game include further exclusives like a swordwhip, which sounds like the most amazing thing ever, a hidden extra boss, and a slipcase for the physical game.

The story centers around an orphan who is under an alchemist's curse that is gradually turning her body to crystal. Along with her friend (and the presumed second playable character) Johannes, she traverses a demon-filled castle ruled by another old friend of hers, in an attempt to stop the curse from destroying her.

Given the game meeting its primary goal, it's clear that this is something that has been desired for a long time. All that remains to be seen is how much more will be given towards the game. Will we see another million-dollar Kickstarter success? Time will tell.

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